Ashley Robinson OAM

Monday, February 26

It’s rare for me to go to the races at Corbould Park without MC-ing a charity event, or being involved in some sort of corporate thing, but I paid a visit yesterday and was reminded what a great way it was to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I spent some time with CEO John Miller and chairman Peter Boyce and was blown away by what I heard – not just about the things they’ve achieved, but by their plans for the future.

The stats are really impressive. The club employs 38 permanent staff, with 50 or 60 casuals on race days, increasing to more than 200 on the big days. About 530 horses gallop on the track every day and the club hosts 66 or 67 meetings a year.

John Miller told me that no other grass track in Australia – probably in the world – holds more race meetings. And, amazingly, jockeys and trainers say the track remains one of the best in the country.

Most importantly, the Corbould Park races attract people to come to our region, and has a massive impact on our region’s economy.

John and Peter were telling me that they’re now working on a master plan that will turn Corbould Park into one of the best racing complexes in the world.

The master plan, which will go to the Council early next year, sees an expansion of the racing facilities, plus a hotel, swimming pool, convention centre, maybe an Over 50s residential village – a true community centre.

The club owns about 80ha of land and Peter estimates the project will be spread out over at least 20 years and cost upwards of $100 million – and they’re hopeful of funding it themselves.

That’s the sort of initiative we need on the Sunshine Coast, and a Council that I lead will work closely with Corbould Park to bring this project to reality.

On the way home from the races, I stopped in for the Sunday Session at The Clubhouse Bellvista in Caloundra West – a great, family-friendly place that’s become a community meeting place for people in this rapidly growing area.

Caught up with some rugby league tragics, an old neighbour, and enjoyed the live entertainment. I’ll be back.